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Current Affairs 24th January 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Apex court to decide if Centre encroached on Punjab’s domain

Context: The Supreme Court of India is set to examine whether border States should be treated equally in terms of the jurisdiction area of the Border Security Force (BSF).

More In News

  • Punjab is challenging the constitutional validity of a notification issued by the Centre in October 2021 which is for extending the BSF’s jurisdiction from 15 km to 50 km from the India-Pakistan border.
  • This extension of BSF’s reach under Section 139 of the BSF Act, 1968. The extension aims for more effective control of trans-border crimes, in cooperation with State police.
  • The core of the dispute involves whether the Centre’s action encroaches upon the legislative domain of the State of Punjab, as the Constitution grants States control over their police and the maintenance of public order.
  • The Solicitor General noted that BSF jurisdiction varies across states, being 80 km in Gujarat and 50 km in Rajasthan, sometimes covering entire states.

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Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar

Context: The President of India confers the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar for the year 2024 on 19 children.

About Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar

It is given under two categories: Bal Shakti Puraskar and Bal Kalyan Puraskar

Aspect Bal Shakti Puraskar Bal Kalyan Puraskar
Purpose To recognize exceptional achievements of children in various fields such as innovation, scholastic achievements, social service, arts & culture, sports, and bravery. To acknowledge outstanding contributions by individuals and institutions towards child development, protection, and welfare.
Eligibility (Individuals) Indian citizens between 5-18 years of age, residing in India. Indian citizens aged 18 years or above (as of 31st August of the year), residing in India, who have worked for child-related causes for not less than 7 years.
Eligibility (Institutions) N/A Non-fully government-funded institutions, active in the field of child welfare for at least 10 years with consistent performance.
Award Consists of a medal, a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000, book vouchers worth Rs. 10,000, a certificate, and a citation. Awards are given in two categories: Individual and Institution, with cash prizes of Rs. 1,00,000 for individuals and Rs. 5,00,000 for institutions.
Background Initially started in 1996 as the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement, it was renamed in 2018 as Bal Shakti Puraskar. Originally launched in 1979 as the National Child Welfare Awards, it was renamed in 2018 as Bal Kalyan Puraskar.

Pradhan Mantri Suryoday Yojana

Context: Prime Minister Modi unveiled a government initiative (Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana) aimed at providing rooftop solar power systems to one crore households.

More In News

  • This initiative represents a fresh effort to achieve the goal of 40 GW rooftop solar capacity.
  • It includes the installation of solar power systems on residential rooftops.
  • The scheme aims to lower electricity expenses for the poor and middle class while advancing India’s ambition of self-sufficiency in the energy sector.

Iceberg A23a

Context: The iceberg named A23a is nearly more than twice the size of Greater London. After decades stuck to the Antarctic ocean floor, it is now heading north on what could be its final journey.

What Is An Iceberg?

  • A large mass of ice floating in the ocean, broken off from a glacier or ice shelf. Most of its mass is submerged, with only a small portion visible above the water.
  • Iceberg status requires: height > 16 ft (above sea level), thickness 98-164 ft, area = 5382 sq ft (atleast).
  • A23a Iceberg:
    • It contains an estimated one trillion tonnes of freshwater.
    • The iceberg is up to 400 metres thick in places.
    • It is in tooth-shape and nearly 4,000 square kilometres (1,550 square miles).
    • It is currently drifting between Elephant Island and the South Orkney islands.
    • A23a first broke off the Antarctic coast in 1986, making it the world’s oldest iceberg as well as its largest.

Key Takeaways from WEF Meeting

Context: This year’s edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting highlighted some key themes that dominated proceedings.

Five Key Takeaways From WEF Meeting

  • Artificial Intelligence: The meeting recognized AI as a critical force that will continue to transform industries. There was an emphasis on integrating AI with human intelligence for improved decision-making.
  • War and Uncertainty: There was a discussion on the business leaders’ role in navigating the challenges posed by a fragile geopolitical situation, particularly in the Middle East and Europe.
  • Climate Change: The conference underscored the urgent need for businesses to adapt to climate change and consider long-term impacts on their operations and supply chains.
  • China’s Economy: The growth in China’s economy was noted, particularly highlighting that China’s 5.2% GDP growth led to a net increase in the economic divide in Asia, indicating a shift in economic status and influence.
  • India: It was mentioned that India’s economy is finally standing on its own two feet, with transformative capacity and a significant improvement in some of the weakest-performing sectors in the nation, buoyed by increased foreign attention and investment.

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